Ahlan wa sahlan! Right now we’re going to talk
about الجملة الاسمية, which is one of the basic sentence patterns in Arabic.
اسمية is a ‘nisba’ adjective from the word اسم, which means a noun or name in Arabic. You’ve probably said that أنا امسي… so-and-so. Simply put, a جملة اسمية
is one that begins with a noun or a pronoun, and this is a structure that
we’re going to see all the time in both formal and spoken Arabic. ٍo some
examples, we could say أختي تعمل في بنك ‘my sister works at a bank,’ or فاطمة تسكن في بيت كبير ‘Fatima lives in a big house,’ or أنا مصري, I am Egyptian,’ القاهرة مدينة كبيرة. ‘Cairo is a big city,’ or هم مشغولون. ‘they are busy.’ So we can
express a lot of different ideas using جملة اسمية. Notice something here, that
أختي تعمل في بنك and فاطمة تسكن في بيت كبير both have verbs. They
do have verbs in them, but they’re جمل اسمية because they begin with these
nouns. right? أختي، فاطمة. These last three sentences don’t have conjugated
verbs, because in Arabic, ‘to be’ is implied in simple جمل اسمية like this, right?
أنا مصري, ‘I Egyptian…’ and the ‘am’ is implied. We don’t need to conjugate a
verb to get there, right? Now, as we use جمل اسمية, they’re going to get longer
and more complicated, hopefully, as our abilities improve, so it’s going to be
useful to know how to analyze them, and the basic way in which a جملة اسمية is
divided into the subject and the predicate, what we call in Arabic المبتدأ and الخبر.
المبتدأ, is a subject and a خبر is the predicate. You probably know the
word أخبار, maybe from an expression like شو أخبارك؟ أخبارك إيه؟ Right, it’s from the same root
as ‘news,’ the same kind of news that we watch on TV.
أخبار, الخبر. So الخبر is the new information, and we want to identify just
so we understand these sentences, and it’s going to be useful as sentences get
longer ,we want to be able to identify where the مبتدأ is, and where the خبر
in the sentence occurs,. So we’re going to look… in a sentence
with no verb, we can look for where the ‘is’ is, so to speak, right? أنا مصري,
where would that ‘to be,’ that conjugated form of ‘to be’ be? We’ve decided that
it’s here, so that means that أنا is المبتدأ, and مصري is going to be
الخبر. Here, for example الفاهرة مدينة كبيرة, Where’s the ‘is’?
Why should we care about القاهرة? What’s the information that’s being given to me? القاهرة, the name of the city
and مدينة كبيرة, that’s what’s being told to me, right, that’s why I should
care about why our subject is being mentioned in the first place. Oop, let’s
use red to be consistent. الخبر. مدينة كبيرة. Notice that in all three of these
cases, the خبر is indefinite, right we’re adding kind
a descriptor, where that information ‘is a big city.’ هم مشغولون, they are busy, الخبر. That’s our news, that’s why we care In these first two sentences,
الخبر once again, is the information that’s being given. Right?
فاطمة is our subject, المبتدأ, and تسكن في بيت كبير is the information
that’s being given about her.